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BOUNTIFUL RESURRECTS CANTALOUPE DAYS

If you were alive in 1945, you may have been in on Bountiful's first Cantaloupe Days celebration.

If you were alive in 1962, you may have been in on the last.If you're alive as your read this, however, you're already in on the resurrection of one of Davis County's most beloved holidays.

"There aren't as many cantaloupes now as there were in 1945," says Shauna Knighton, organizer of the event. "In fact, we're going to have to truck in 300 crates of cantaloupes for the day from California. But people break into smiles when we tell them we're bringing back the celebration."

Cantaloupe Days - slated for Sept. 12 - is just one of the Bountiful centennial events. And the organizers have tried to keep the tradition pure. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. - just as it did in 1945. There will games, rides, food, baseball, a trout scramble, Dutch oven cooking, a fireman's muster, a petting zoo and historical tours.

In 1945 the city gave away a pony in a raffle.

This year Knighton and her fellow Jaycees are giving away a Mustang - a vintage 1965 antique car that's guaranteed "road ready." Tickets are $2 each.

"One event we did pass over," says Knighton. "In the early days they had a special competition for married women only. They would throw rolling pins at their husbands. We decided not to follow up on that."

Dale Alfred, the parade chairman, is also gung-ho about the day.

"We've really gotten into it," he says. "I mean we looked for eight months just to find the right car to give away."

Debbie Schulthies of the Jaycees is also pitching in with the planning and execution.

As for the future, Knighton says all the groundwork, homework and legwork have been done, so the city could put the whole thing on again next year with about half the effort.

The problem is those cantaloupes.

"This was sandy soil and great for melons back in the '40s," says Knighton. "At the first celebration they had 1,000 crates of cantaloupes. But now even the few we grow came on early and are pretty much gone now."

Not to worry, however. Organizers guarantee this year there will be enough cantaloupe for everyone, at 50 cents a slice.

The ice cream will cost you a little extra.

For information phone 292-4622 or 292-3972.